Precision Medicine and Society Pilot Grant Program

Pilot grant awards for Columbia faculty, post-docs, and graduate students are available from the Precision Medicine and Society Program, part of Columbia’s Precision Medicine Initiative.

Deadline: June 1, 2017

Amount:  $7,500 – $15,000

These awards are designed to support work on issues relating to the social, legal, economic, humanistic and ethical impact on society of the introduction of precision medicine and new genomic technologies. Examples of possible foci include:  the impact of genomic information on personal privacy; the intersection of precision medicine with movements for patients’ and disability rights; the creation of new diagnostic categories and with them, new identities and biosocial groupings; the emergence of problems of translation among genetic, clinical, and bureaucratic systems of classification; the influence of genetic knowledge on social welfare policies; the disentangling of concepts of race/ethnicity and genetics; the ownership of genomic data; the effect of increasing knowledge of behavioral genetics on attributions of responsibility in criminal and civil contexts; the economic impact of precision medicine; the effect of new modalities of diagnosis and treatment on health disparities and the social cost of illness; and implications for regulation of drug development and testing.

Projects should have the potential to lead to broader explorations of the area, whether through funded research, development of followup workshops or conferences, curricular development, articles or book proposals. Collaborative projects involving participants from more than one discipline are encouraged, as is the exploration of issues that represent a new focus of work for applicants. Proposals will be considered in two categories: smaller proposals (generally involving a single applicant) at budgets up to $7,500; and larger proposals (generally involving multiple applicants) at budgets up to $15,000. Additional support may be available from the Precision Medicine and Society Program for followup projects.

Applicants should submit a research proposal that details the specific aims of the project, background to the project, preliminary data (if any), research plan (including plan for data analysis), innovation/significance, and future plans, with a limit of 1,000 words; a curriculum vitae for the applicant and any associated investigators; a detailed budget with explanations of the purpose of proposed expenditures. Funding can be used for expenses such as support of research assistants, access to datasets, assistance with data analysis, travel to archives, and expenses involved in collaboration (e.g., travel for collaborators).

Proposals will be scored on the basis of innovativeness and potential significance of the project, quality and intellectual merit of the project, and likelihood of serving as a foundation for further explorations of the issues addressed.

Studies “piggy-backed” on existing research projects are welcome. The Precision Medicine and Society Program actively supports diversity and welcome submissions that address diverse populations, and proposals from investigators of all backgrounds, especially those underrepresented in research careers.

Proposals should be submitted electronically as a single PDF document to Manuela Cangiamila ( by June 1, 2017. Funding will begin July 1, 2017 and funds must be utilized by June 30, 2018. Successful applicants will be expected to submit a brief final project report and to be available to present their work at a Precision Medicine and Society lecture, seminar or workshop. Questions may be addressed to the co-directors of the Program: Prof. Alondra Nelson ( or Prof. Paul Appelbaum (

Additional information about the Precision Medicine and Society Program is available on their website.

@The Center of Science and Society at Columbia University 2016
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